Demolitions of properties built on riparian land in Nairobi to continue in an effort to regenerate Nairobi River. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTEDemolitions of properties built on riparian land in Nairobi to continue in an effort to regenerate Nairobi River. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE
By COLLINS OMULO

Demolition of structures built on riparian land in Nairobi enters a second week with the multi-agency team behind the flattening of buildings going back to Kileleshwa.

National Environment Management Authority (Nema) communications officer Evans Nyabuto said the demolitions will continue and the exercise will move back to Kileleshwa to bring down some walls that had been left by the owners.

He, however, stopped short of mentioning more areas that will be demolished on Monday saying there are certain areas the agency cannot pre-empt their activity for security reasons.

COURT INJUNCTION

“The demolitions will continue for the week but there are places that if we say that tomorrow we are going to demolish you find hostile people on the ground or they quickly go to court for an injunction so it hampers our operations,” said Mr Nyabuto on Sunday, adding that demolition of the Ukay Mall in Westlands will also continue.

The official further said Nema director-general Geoffrey Wahungu was preparing a comprehensive report on the status of the exercise which will be released Monday.

On Thursday last week, Prof Wahungu said they had a list of “quite a few” structures, whose exact number he could not disclose, that the authority would be pouncing on at their own time to bring down sections of buildings that are closer than six metres from riparian reserves.

At the same time, Nairobi Central Business District chief Julius Wanjau, who has been part of the multi-agency team, confirmed that the demolitions will go on.

“We are still dealing with Nakumatt Ukay to see that it is completely brought down but the clearing of structures on riparian land will continue,” said Mr Wanjau.

The ongoing demolitions started on Monday last week with a Java House coffee outlet, a Shell petrol station and Safe Dose pharmacy, which were operating in a building erected less than 30 metres from the banks of Nairobi River first to come down.

APPROVALS

On day two, more structures were cleared with residential houses built on Ring Road Kileleshwa next to Shell petrol station being demolished by the multi-agency team consisting of officials from the National Environment Management Authority, the National Youth Service and the Nairobi County government.

On Thursday last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta said that the demolition of properties built on riparian lands will go on, adding that officials who made approvals for the premises to be built on such lands must be punished.

The call by President Kenyatta came just a day after the demolition of the Sh2 billion South End Mall located at the junction of Mbagathi and Lang’ata roads in Nairobi, which is said to be built along Ngong River.